Weekend Box Office (April 1 - 3, 2016)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND As expected, the super hero tentpole Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice held onto the number one spot for a second straight frame despite a large drop, however the decline was very troubling as bad word-of-mouth kicked in causing grosses to nosedive. The PG-13 actioner fell 69% from its record opening weekend to $51.3M, according to final studio figures.

Comic book movies generally attract the bulk of their sales on the first weekend (which include Thursday night pre-shows) so sophomore sessions routinely suffer large declines. Plus, BvS launched over the Easter holiday weekend which helped pump up the grosses with Good Friday being a day off for many. So a decline of 60-63% would have been acceptable.

But 69% was steep. Add in the fact that there was no major competition from new releases and it leads to a shaky road ahead. Dawn's predecessor was 2013's Man of Steel which was directed by Zack Snyder as well. Its second weekend drop was a similar 68% when factoring in all Thursday night pre-shows into the opening weekend figure. But the big difference was competition as the second weekend of MoS had to deal with nearly $149M from the openings of Monsters University affecting kids and World War Z impacting action lovers. BvS faced just $11.7M in grosses for this weekend's two new wide openers.

Second weekend drops for recent major super hero sequels include 59% for Avengers: Age of Ultron, 64% for X-Men: Days of Future Past, 61% for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, 58% for Iron Man 3, 57% for Thor: The Dark World, and 61% for The Dark Knight Rises. Last summer's panned reboot Fantastic Four nearly matched BvS with a 68% crash on the second weekend.

Last year on Easter weekend, Furious 7 smashed records with a $147.2M debut and fell 60% in the second weekend to $59.6M, a gross Justice was not able to reach on its sophomore frame. In fact since Tuesday, daily grosses for BvS have consistently fallen behind F7's. The path ahead should find the super hero smackdown finishing its North American run with about $345M. Though a huge amount, especially for the spring season, it does not seem that it will beat the domestic tallies for Furious 7 ($353M) or Deadpool ($355.1M and counting) which did not have the added bonus of 3D surcharges.

As North American sales were in freefall, Batman v Superman suffered even more in China where it tumbled by 77% in its second weekend to $12.8M after debuting to $57.2M when it launched day and date with the U.S. Other second weekend falls from top territories included 49% in Brazil, 58% in Germany, 69% in the U.K., and 71% in both Korea and Mexico.

The overall international weekend estimate was $85.3M from 67 markets pushing the cume to $422.5M. The global gross rose to $683M with offshore markets accounting for 62% of the tally. With sales eroding quickly worldwide, BvS is now on a new trajectory to end its global run in the area of $900M which is still an impressive figure for any big-budget comic book movie.

A movie that will in fact sprint past the $1 billion global box office mark is Zootopia which took second place again in its fifth weekend. The Disney smash grossed $19.3M and slipped a mere 20% from last weekend which was helped by the Easter holiday. This is the second best performance of all-time for a toon in its fifth weekend of play. Only Frozen did better with $28.6M on a frame that fell during the Christmas school holidays.

Zootopia's incredible legs have put the bunny cop pic at $275.3M to date in North America with a trajectory to $330-340M by the end of the domestic run. There is even a possibility that Zootopia ends ahead of Batman v Superman domestically. The animated hit will enjoy one more weekend without competition before the studio's own kidpic The Jungle Book arrives on April 15.

Overseas, Zootopia cracked the half-billion mark this weekend with a $30M international frame making for a sturdy $50M worldwide weekend, off just 24%. Offshore grosses have climbed to $511.7M, driven in large part by China's monumental $215.3M, boosting the global gross to a stellar $787M. Zootopia will break $800M within days and should zoom past $900M by the time it opens in Japan on April 23 where the toon is expected to do gangbusters.

In its sophomore frame, the comedy sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 dropped 37% to $11.2M giving Universal $36.6M to date. Normally this decline would be commendable, but given the lack of competition this weekend from new releases, it fell on the high end of drops in the top ten. A $55M final may occur.

The faith-based sequel God's Not Dead 2 opened in fourth place with mild results grossing $7.6M from 2,419 locations for a soft $3,152 average. Both the gross and average were below what its predecessor generated two years ago in March 2014. The first God's Not Dead bowed to $9.2M from just one third of the theaters for a potent $11,852 average followed by an expansion and good legs. Part 2 featured a new cast and did not build up the same excitement among its target audience.

Another faith-based film sat in the top five with Miracles from Heaven grossing $7.3M in its third round. Off just 25%, the Sony release has banked an impressive $46.5M to date which is more than three times the film's production cost.

The underperforming sci-fi thriller The Divergent Series: Allegiant witnessed the second largest drop in the top ten falling 39% to $5.8M for a cume to date of $56.4M. International grosses stand at $80.3M with worldwide now at $136.7M. The global tally should finish in the $160-170M range for Lionsgate, a disappointing figure for a big-budget franchise film with one more installment to go.

Paramount's monster flick 10 Cloverfield Lane fared well dipping 23% to $4.6M for a new cume of $63.4M. It will end its run not far behind the $80M of 2008's Cloverfield. The Mike Epps comedy Meet the Blacks debuted to decent results in moderate release opening to $4.1M from 1,015 locations for a $3,996 average. The R-rated film earned poor marks from moviegoers.

Helen Mirren's military thriller Eye in the Sky expanded and jumped up to the number nine spot with $4M. The Bleecker Street release averaged $3,850 from 1,029 locations playing to a mature crowd. Total is $6.1M. The overachieving super hero hit Deadpool rounded out the top ten with $3.5M in its eighth weekend, off 29%. Fox has amassed a colossal $355.1M to date domestically and global has just hit $755M making it the top-grossing film worldwide from the entire X-Men franchise beating Days of Future Past. This is especially impressive since Deadpool had no China release.

A pair of films debuted well in limited release. Richard Linklater's critically acclaimed Everybody Wants Some!! bowed to $312,355 from 19 theaters for a solid $16,440 average. Paramount expands to 50+ locations on the second weekend. Don Cheadle directs, produces, writes and stars in the Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead which platformed to $114,530 from four sites for a strong $28,633 average. Sony Classics widens to 20+ locations on Friday and will be nationwide on April 22.

The top ten films grossed $118.6M which was down 45% from last year when Furious 7 opened at number one over the Easter holiday frame with $147.2M; and down 24% from 2014 when Captain America: The Winter Soldier debuted in the top spot with $95M.

Compared to projections, God's Not Dead 2 opened below my $12M forecast while Meet the Blacks came in north of my $2M prediction.

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Watch the trailer for Captain America: Civil War.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Boss, Hardcore Henry, and Before I Wake all open.

# Title Apr 1 - 3 Mar 25 - 27 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Batman v Superman $ 51,335,254 $ 166,007,347 -69.1 4,256 2 $ 12,062 $ 260,408,047 Warner Bros.
2 Zootopia 19,325,291 24,022,288 -19.6 3,698 5 5,226 275,264,601 Disney
3 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 11,218,055 17,861,950 -37.2 3,179 2 3,529 36,581,785 Universal
4 God's Not Dead 2 7,623,662 2,419 1 3,152 7,623,662 Pure Flix
5 Miracles from Heaven 7,255,566 9,694,581 -25.2 3,155 3 2,300 46,528,493 Sony
6 The Divergent Series: Allegiant 5,763,227 9,435,173 -38.9 3,018 3 1,910 56,422,951 Lionsgate
7 10 Cloverfield Lane 4,564,126 5,940,154 -23.2 2,511 4 1,818 63,377,186 Paramount
8 Meet the Blacks 4,055,940 1,015 1 3,996 4,055,940 Freestyle
9 Eye in the Sky 3,961,556 932,449 324.9 1,029 4 3,850 6,055,931 Bleecker St.
10 Deadpool 3,456,595 4,897,941 -29.4 1,968 8 1,756 355,065,529 Fox
11 Hello, My Name is Doris 2,373,309 1,668,806 42.2 963 4 2,464 6,627,403 Roadside Attr.
12 London Has Fallen 1,894,718 3,027,568 -37.4 1,510 5 1,255 59,070,690 Focus
13 I Saw the Light 683,990 45,471 741 2 923 745,227 Sony Classics
14 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 681,629 816,484 -16.5 462 16 1,475 934,898,148 Disney
15 Midnight Special 550,384 100,017 450.3 58 3 9,489 963,619 Warner Bros.
16 Kung Fu Panda 3 517,187 561,768 -7.9 396 10 1,306 140,320,400 Fox
17 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 512,193 900,104 -43.1 457 5 1,121 22,286,010 Paramount
18 The Witch 465,334 162,081 187.1 666 7 699 24,650,032 A24
19 Ki & Ka 439,521 148 1 2,970 439,521 Eros
20 The Perfect Match 315,085 682,647 -53.8 301 4 1,047 9,355,076 Lionsgate
Top 5 $ 96,757,828 $ 227,021,339 -57.4
Top 10 118,559,272 243,490,833 -51.3
Top 20 126,992,622 249,226,989 -49.0
Top 10 vs. 2015 126,992,622 221,054,576 -42.6

Last Updated: April 6, 2016 at 11:00AM ET

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